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VABIO E-News October 19, 2015
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VABIO E-News: October 19, 2015 Edition

Focus Around Virginia 
A Word from CEO Jeff Gallagher

Members and friends of Virginia Bio,

Virginia faces an urgent need to diversify and grow its economy. This need has made economic development a rare potential area of cooperation between the General Assembly and the Governor, Republicans and Democrats.

Bioscience commercialization presents a unique opportunity to Virginia to meet this need and solve this crisis. The state has all the pieces to base significant long term growth and to grow into a leading state economy. We need to focus and align, make some investments and incentivize private sector activity.

For these reasons, I have been working for over a year with policymakers in the Administration and General Assembly to gather facts on bioscience commercialization policies and results within Virginia and in other states. We have collected data on demonstrated return on investment. We have helped to mount three statewide gatherings of Virginia bioscience leaders. We helped coordinate statewide working groups commissioned by the Governor and brought their reports back to an audience of state leaders, setting out principles for a plan that would take Virginia from where it is today to a greatly expanded and mature bioscience economy. At Virginia Bio's April strategic Board retreat, the organization set our top priority to prepare, propose and fight for a plan to enact in budget and legislation during the 2016 General Assembly, which begins in January.

This week, on Tuesday, October 20 at 12pm we will conduct a webinar for our members to present the plan that has been developed, answer questions, and enlist your active support in making the plan reality. Click here for the webinar link.

For complete article click here.

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In this issue
focus around Virginia
VABIO Articles
VABIO Community News
VABIO Anniversaries
VABIO Calendar


VABIO Community News 
VABIO Member Anniversaries 

VABIO Events
Virginia Bio Calendar




CRCF FY2016 Solicitation Preview

CIT is pleased to preview the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) FY2016 solicitation. $3.4 million is available to award to the Commonwealth's private sector, higher education, and research facilities through five programs: Commercialization, SBIR Matching Funds, STTR Matching Funds, Matching Funds, and Eminent Researcher Recruitment. The RFP is planned for late October.

For complete article click here.

VBHRC Awards Over $2 Million to Fund Bioscience Research Initiatives

The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC/“the catalyst”) has awarded $2.23 million in grants to five collaborative bioscience commercialization projects between Virginia’s research universities and private companies. These awards are being matched by federal grants and/or direct industry contribution at an amount in excess of $5 million. Round four of funding is intended to catalyze the development and commercialization of life science projects that address major unmet needs for improving human health, while also contributing to Virginia’s economic growth.

For complete article click here.

Biosciences Get Defense Secretary's Attention

At the recent DARPA Wait What? conference, and as reported by an online article for Scientific American, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said lifesaving technologies are a priority for his department. To help address that priority, he is looking at biology, especially in regard to how biological science can inform the development of technology to save the lives of military personnel.

For complete article click here.

IALR’s Research Develops New Idea Resulting in a Patent

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) received a patent for developing a system that results in efficient micropropagation of high-quality plants in the field of bio-energy grasses that result in high survival rates in the greenhouse and in the field. Theoretically, the systems and methods developed by IALR scientists are capable of producing more than 700 billion plants from one single shoot in one year.

For complete article click here.

Accuro Highlighted in “AORA 2015” Scientific Presentation

Rivanna Medical’s Accuro was recently highlighted in a presentation given by Anand M. Sardesai, MD, at “AORA 2015” (Academy of Regional Anaesthesia of India): “Advances in Ultrasound Machine Technology and Future Trends.”

For complete article click here.

Focused Ultrasound Receives First FDA Approval for Prostate and First Depression Trial Begins

The first patient with depression has been treated with focused ultrasound. This procedure marks the beginning of a pilot clinical trial to determine the feasibility and safety of MR-guided focused ultrasound to non-invasively destroy a small volume of tissue deep in the brain – the anterior limb of the internal capsule – a well-established target for treating severe depression. In this initial patient, the target was successfully ablated without complications.

For complete article
click here.

Also, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved SonaCare Medical’s Sonablate 450 focused ultrasound system for the ablation of prostate tissue. Focused ultrasound enables treatment of organ-confined prostate disease while preserving surrounding healthy tissue, without radiation or surgery.

For complete article click here.

Virginia Tech Researchers Refine Model to Predict Errors in Cell Division


A team of Virginia Tech researchers has refined a mathematical model that simulates the impact of genetic mutations on cell division -- a step that could provide insight into errors that produce and sustain harmful cell populations, such as those found in tumors.

For complete article click here.

Intrexon, Ziopharm Oncology to Pursue Immunotherapies for Graft-versus-Host Disease

Intrexon is joining forces with Ziopharm Oncology in a collaboration that will concentrate on the treatment and prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).

GvHD is a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), which significantly impairs the quality of life and survival of many recipients.

For complete article click here.

TJU Taps Perthera for Multi-omic Molecular Diagnostic Analyses

Perthera, a premier personalized medicine service company, and Thomas Jefferson University today announced a collaboration that will provide Perthera’s advanced, multi-omic, molecularly targeted diagnostics and related bioinformatics services and analysis to cancer patients at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals facilities and affiliates.

For complete article click here.

Indoor Biotechnologies Awarded $2.4 Million NIH Grant
Dr. Anna Pomés, Indoor Biotechnologies Director of Basic Research, was recently awarded a five year, $2.4 million R01 grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID/NIH) to support her research on the molecular structure of allergens associated with asthma (dust mites, cockroaches, and pet allergens).

For complete article click here.

VT Carilion Research Institute Takes First Up-Close Look at Human Breast Cancer Cell Activity
A photograph may reveal how something looks, but direct observation can divulge how the objects behave. The difference can mean life or death, especially when it comes to fighting human disease. To help researchers examine exactly how human diseases work at the molecular level, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientist Deborah Kelly has developed a new set of tools to peer into the active world of cancer cells at unprecedented resolution.

For complete article click here.

Shenandoah Valley Officials Seek To Expand Ag Bio Jobs
As reported in the Daily News-Record, Carrie Chenery, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP), said the regional economic development organization is trying to convince biotech companies to invest in the area.

For complete article click here.

Virginia Tech and Leidos Partner on Critical Healthcare Research
Virginia Tech and science and technology solutions company Leidos have partnered to collaborate on student-conducted scientific research into the big data challenges of today’s electronic health records with the aim of optimizing healthcare delivery. Leidos and Virginia Tech will use technical data from hospitals and physician offices to establish methods to improve quality of care and reduce the cost of healthcare, particularly for hospitals. This partnership is expected to prepare the Virginia Tech students for professional careers in academia, industry or government.

For complete article click here.

Ergomed Increases Co-Development Contribution to $12 Million in CEL-SCI’s Head and Neck Cancer Trial
CEL-SCI Corporation ("CEL SCI" or the "Company") and its Clinical Research Organization (CRO) Ergomed plc have expanded their co-development agreement with increased activities to be undertaken by Ergomed. Pursuant to the expanded co-development agreement, Ergomed’s contribution to the Phase 3 study will increase from $10,000,000 to $12,000,000. The companies are undertaking the Phase 3 trial of CEL-SCI’s investigational immunotherapy Multikine* (Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection) in patients with advanced primary head and neck cancer.

For complete article click here.

American International Biotechnology Presented Results from GynecoloGene
American International Biotechnology, LLC recently presented results from GynecoloGene, the world’s first commercially-available next-generation sequencing test for bacterial vaginosis at the XXI FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

For complete article click here.

BioTeach Engages Teachers in Bioscience Business – October 22, 2015

On Thursday, October 22nd, science teachers from public and private schools as well as community colleges across the Commonwealth will once again descend on local life science companies to learn first-hand how businesses use science to improve human health and open career possibilities for students. The statewide BioTeach event will promote collaboration between Virginia educators and the bioscience business community to nurture student interest in bioscience and related technology, engineering and math (BioSTEM) careers.

For complete article click here.

Ed Albrigo is New Chief Executive Officer for CIT

Governor Terry McAuliffe recently shared the selection of Ed Albrigo as the next President and Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).

For complete article click here.

Thermal Gradient Relocates to Virginia 

The Greater Richmond Partnership announces that Thermal Gradient, Inc., has chosen to relocate its operations from Rochester, N.Y., to the Richmond Region. The molecular diagnostics solutions company recently signed a 10,000 sq.ft. lease to become a resident business in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in the City of Richmond.

For complete article click here.

Cupron’s Proprietary Fibers Granted Expanded Anti-Odor Claims

Cupron, creator of copper-based polymeric technologies, has received its fifth public health claim from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), expanding its portfolio of registered claims to include market leading anti-odor and freshness claims.

For complete article click here.

BIO-VWR Offers Savings for Medical Device Industry

Through Virginia Bio’s relationship with the Bio Business Solutions program, VWR offers special pricing to support the needs of member facilities that require ultraclean conditions for manufacturing and other processes. The program offers product choice from industry-leading manufacturers for Controlled Environment needs, a global distribution network that drives supply chain security and product quality, a suite of differentiated services including safety station maintenance and stocking, all supported by the highly trained team of Controlled Environment Specialists.

The VWR discount program includes special pricing agreements with major manufacturers like Kimberly Clark, Excelta, Ansell, Micronova, Contec,plus many other member-only benefits. Enrollment is as simple as completing a one-page enrollment form/agreement.

For additional information, visit our Discount Programs page here.

Welcome New Member: Instant Systems
Founded in 2004, by industry professionals with over 50 years combined experience in the specialty medical packaging field, Instant Systems set out to meet the growing call for higher quality, custom packaging for allograft preservation. Recognizing the need for collaborative design, Instant Systems works closely with customers and industry leaders to create packaging solutions for medical applications. This core business has expanded into many sectors since 2004 including innovative packaging systems for; stem cells, cellular therapies, bioengineered products, pharmaceuticals, specialty autologous tissues, as well as a host of other medical applications.

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: Noblis
Noblis is a nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization that combines scientific thought, management, and engineering expertise with a reputation for independence and objectivity. Noblis supports a wide range of government and industry clients in the areas of national security, intelligence, transportation, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and enterprise engineering.

With the addition of two wholly owned subsidiaries, Noblis has grown from nearly 600 employees in 2012 to over 1,000 employees today. Together with, Noblis ESI and Noblis NSP, the integrated set of capabilities and talent across an array of disciplines and domains offers clients the right expertise to accomplish their most critical missions.

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: VCU School of Medicine Office of Graduate Education

The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System is an urban, comprehensive academic medical center in central Virginia established to preserve and restore health for all people, to seek the cause and cure of diseases through innovative research, and to educate those who serve humanity. GME programs sponsored by VCUHS are designed to produce skillful physicians and dentists with ingrained habits of life-long learning and well-formed ethical and professional modes of practice. The Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the Health System have a robust process of oversight through its Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) to assure that the necessary educational, financial, and human resources to support GME are provided.

For more information please visit their website.

VABIO Community News TO TOP

The 5th Annual Pediatric Device Competition is being held on Wednesday, October 21 in Richmond for the first time at the VCU School of Engineering. This competition is sponsored by the Atlantic Pediatric Device Consortium (APDC) with funding made possible by the FDA’s initiative for advancement in healthcare for pediatric patients and include awards of $5,000 to $50,000. Eight projects will presented from eight different institutions and companies. Technologies under consideration include both surgical and point-of-care devices that impact healthcare of children.

Cavion LLC is pleased to welcome to the team Thomas Richardson, PhD, who will serve as Director of Chemistry Discovery and Development. Dr. Richardson received his doctorate in Organic Chemistry from The Ohio State University and brings fifteen years’ experience as a medicinal chemist to Cavion. Cavion also welcomes Allison de Almeida, a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, as Analyst and Evan Newbold, a graduate of Lafayette College, as Science Research Analyst.

Georgetown University Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics just received a large BD2K grant from NIH for the software suite, MACE2K. The suite will primarily contain natural language processing features for biological entity and relation extraction, disambiguation and normalization modules. The suite can be used by biomedical researchers to generate new hypotheses for research on personalized cancer treatment decisions using large volumes of public data. A novel gamification and evidence-ranking component will be built to allow subject matter experts to verify, rank and validate the information corpus to enhance accuracy of the software for broader use.

The Greater Richmond Partnership announces the hiring of Brian Fulk as Senior Vice President of Business Development. Fulk replaces Barry I. Matherly, who was promoted to President and CEO of the Partnership on July 1. “The Partnership is fortunate to hire someone of Brian’s background,” said Matherly. “His varied leadership experience all over the world will be helpful in recruiting more foreign direct investment to the Richmond Region. Brian’s a hire who can immediately step into his position and make an impact.” The Partnership’s hiring search extended internationally, as Fulk was living in London before deciding to relocate to the Richmond Region. He has also lived in Zurich, Switzerland, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which are all cities frequented by the Partnership’s marketing team during prospect missions.

HemoSonics, elected Josep Manent to its Board of Managers. Mr. Manent has over 35 years of business, financial, product development and marketing experience in the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry. “Josep brings an unparalleled depth of experience and industry knowledge in the in vitro diagnostics space,” said William P. Moffitt, Chairman of the Board of HemoSonics. “His perspective, global reputation and insight will be invaluable as we initiate commercialization of the Quantra™ platform and seek to accelerate shareholder value.” He previously held senior management positions in the Werfen Life Group, a family of leading companies in the IVD sector. Most recently, he served as the CEO of Instrumentation Laboratory (IL), a leader in critical care, hemostasis and point-of-care diagnostics, from 1999 until his retirement in 2011. Under his leadership at IL, the company returned to profitability and became a world leader in hemostasis and point-of-care through a combination of creative customer targeting, efficient manufacturing and a focus on innovative product development.

Indoor Biotechnologies is delighted to announce the ‘Grand Opening’ of their new laboratory, art gallery and conference space at 700 Harris Street on Thursday October 29th, 5-8pm. Friends and colleagues in the biotech, life sciences and tech community are invited to celebrate the official opening of the new facility. Please register online here to join the party.

University of Virginia undergraduate students Kevin Eisenfrats, Adam Ewel, Catherine Henry and Nicolas Hogan are finalists of the 2015 Collegiate Inventors Competition for their invention of Contraline: Non-Surgical, Hormone-Sparing Contraceptive for Male Cats and Dogs. A polymer gel with microbubbles is injected to block sperm flow. These bubbles make the gel visible with an ultrasound device, thus helping veterinarians insert the gel and also check its status during future visits. The procedure requires no general anesthesia and is easily reversible.
VABIO Member Anniversaries TO TOP

Virginia Bio would like to thank our long term members who have recently celebrated their membership anniversaries:



OCTOBER 20 - 21
Event: Kayo Women’s Private Equity 3rd Annual Conference
Where: Four Seasons Georgetown, Washington, DC
When: Tuesday, October 20 - Wednesday, October 21
Details: Join us for this boutique event gathering the 200 leading women in private equity and venture capital. The event features exclusive networking and unique deal-flow for investors, M&A professionals and company executives.
Registration: Virginia Bio Members receive 10%off registration! Please contact us for discount details and click here to register.

Event: Virginia Bioscience Economy Initiative Webinar
When: Tuesday, October 20, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Details: Unlike in years past, where we have focused on one or two discrete pieces of legislation or funding, this year we will propose and work toward adoption of the Virginia Bioscience Economy Initiative. This is a comprehensive set of legislative and budget proposals, building on programs that work, improving what we have, and creating new programs with long term strategic impact, all designed to move Virginia into leadership in the bioscience innovation economy. The plan is the culmination of over a year of meetings, conferences, study, discussions, work groups.
Registration: Click here to attend the webinar.

Event: Beer and BioTeach Events Fall 2015
Where: See Individual Sessions for location
When: Thursday, October 22, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Details: The Virginia BIO Foundation, a not for profit foundation created to connect bioscience companies with teachers and students to stimulate career interest in the biosciences (BioSTEM), is hosting a teachers only event on October 22, 2015 at locations throughout Virginia. BioTeach, is intended to provide an opportunity for K-12 science teachers from public and private schools to see how the bioscience industry puts science to work by creating products and services that improve human health.
Registration: Click here for additional information and to register.

Event: How to Maximize the JP Morgan Healthcare Week Webinar
When: Friday, October 23, 10:00am - 11:00am
Details: Are you considering attending the 34th JP Morgan Healthcare Week which will be held January 10-14, 2016 in San Francisco, CA? Join us for a JPM 2016 primer event where veteran participants will provide guidance and share tips on: Factors to consider in deciding to attend JPM, Why you need to plan your JPM strategy early and General Do's and Don'ts.
Registration: Click here to attend the webinar.

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - November 2015
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, November 12, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: Family Funds investing in innovative biomedical companies and nonprofits.
The family fund has emerged as an important new source of capital to propel bioscience innovation and commercialization. Using wealth accumulated for making big impact, family funds invest in small and emerging companies, and make venture philanthropy investment type donations to nonprofits doing important focused work.
Registration: Click here to register.
Sponsors: Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Event: Richmond Biotech and Beer
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, November 18, 5:00pm - 7:00pm 
Details: An evening of networking for industry professionals and graduate students n conjunction with the VCU Career Services Health Sciences & Professional Development division.

NOVEMBER 18 - 20
Event: TEDMEDLive Streaming
Where: Live Streaming
When: Wednesday, November 18 - Friday, November 20
Details: Due to an exciting partnership with TEDMED and Virginia Bio, TEDMED would like to invite you to join in on this year's event where we will Unlock Imagination in the service of Health and Medicine. We encourage you to convene and share in free online access to TEDMEDLive Streaming 2015, comprising of more than 70 talks from transformative thinkers in health and medicine.
Registration: Click here for additional information.

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - December 2015
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, December 10, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: Inova Center for Personalized Health
The new Inova Center for Personalized Health (ICPH) is the latest example of Inova’s commitment to genomic research and personalized medicine. Soon to occupy ExxonMobil headquarters in Fairfax, Inova’s new campus comprises 117 acres, four buildings, six towers, 1 million square feet of parking, and 1.3 million square feet of office space. It will be a one-of-a-kind, internationally prominent center for genomic research, personalized healthcare and associated life science commercial development. Inova has set its sights on becoming the world’s epicenter for translational cancer research and patient care based on genomic science, as well as a magnet for the world’s best biotech researchers. The work performed at the new campus will help stimulate the collaboration of high technology life science companies with world-class researchers, leading to the expansion of the life science related economic sector in Virginia and the Greater Washington region.
Registration: Click here to register.
Sponsors: Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Event: The Virginia Reception in San Francisco at JP Morgan Healthcare Conference
Where: The Clift Hotel, Velvet Room, San Francisco, CA
When: Sunday, January 10, 5:00pm -7:30pm
Details: Kicking off JPMorgan Healthcare Conference week in San Francisco co-hosted by Virginia Bio and Darden School of Business.
Registration: More details and registration information coming soon.

Virginia Bio, was formed in 1992 and incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a non-profit association. The purpose of the Association is to promote the biotechnology industry in Virginia, expand the knowledge and expertise of Virginia's businesses concerning biotechnology through seminars, educational publications and other means, to enhance public awareness of the biotechnology industry in Virginia and the scientific, economic and other benefits it provides, and to represent the interests of the biotechnology industry in Virginia before federal, state and local legislators and regulators.  We provide a forum for members and their guests to get to know each other and the many bioscience companies operating today in Virginia and serving our biotech community. We coordinate information among the many agencies and organizations interested in biotechnology.

To learn more about Virginia Bio and how you can get involved, Click Here

This is the E-newsletter of Virginia Bio, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Life Sciences community in the Commonwealth of Virginia. New subscribers can join at our website,  

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